Have You Played? is an endless stream of game retrospectives. One a day, every day of the year, perhaps for all time.
Flames of Freedom, the non-wintry sequel to Midwinter, was one of those games that expanded my idea of what games could be. From one life to the next, I was a suave superspy, seducing my captors and riding a jetski to freedom, or a desperate survivor, chased across an island by a squadron of tanks and bombers. And then I took an amphibious vehicle to crawl across the ocean floor, moving from the greens of the tropical islands to the blues and grays of the murky depths.
I have no idea what I was supposed to be doing, but I had a blast.
File this one under “ludicrously ahead of its time”, I guess, because Flames of Freedom was an open world ‘go anywhere do anything’ type game in a time long before that was something we’d take for granted. It seemed, when I bought it, like the last game I’d ever need. Now it’s a mostly-forgotten precursor to every game that drops you on an island and says “try to have fun”.